THE ART OF THE BOOK:
AN EXHIBIT OF WORK BY
JOHANNA DRUCKER AND BRUCE MAU

October 6 - 27, 2000, Garden Level, Science Library, University at Albany, SUNY


University at Albany

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JOHANNA DRUCKER
BRUCE MAU
UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY LIBRARIES


Bruce Mau Design (BMD) has designed all Zone publications since 1985. This has allowed the BMD to develop Zone's image and identity over time and to explore certain terrain that would not have been accessible in the "one-off" productions of conventional publishing. The driving force of Zone's design is always content. Engaging the content drives the forward momentum and is key to a design that constantly renews itself. In addition, Zone books are designed with the assumption of an intelligent readership; the person who picks up the book can navigate even the most demanding configurations. It means, for example, that the studio can elaborate metaphors and make sophisticated allusions.

A sample of the BMD books in The Art of the Book exhibit includes:

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Frank Gehry: New Bentwood Furniture Designs. Montreal: The Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts, 1992.

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This exhibition catalogue for Frank Gehry's new bentwood furniture line, produced by The Knoll Group, was conceived in three parts. The first section documents the Gehry workshop; the second outlines the development of the prototypes and production pieces; and the third presents an essay that contextualizes the work in the history of bentwood furniture. Bruce Mau asked Knoll to send the studio a piece of the maplewood they were using for the furniture. A scan was made of it for the cover and a strip of hockey tape used for the spine.


The Libertine Reader: Eroticism and Enlightenment in Eighteenth-Century France Edited by Michel Feher. New York: Zone Books, 1997.

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The Libertine Reader is a compilation of erotic letters, fiction, and other texts from eighteenth-century France including selected texts by authors such as Crébillon fils, Choderlos de Laclos, and the Marquis de Sade. The soft cover is a weave of colorfully manipulated details taken from two works by Fragonard, The Furtive Kiss and The Bolt. A removable, translucent vellum dust jacket acts as protective lingerie. When the vellum is removed, the cover image beneath it stands alone ­ naked, harmless, and discreet. The Libertine Reader becomes a private book, one that can be read in public on the subway.

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